Organizational Learning at NASA The Challenger and the Columbia Accidents

ISBN-10: 1589012666
ISBN-13: 9781589012660
Edition: 2009
List price: $29.95
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Description: Just after 9:00 a.m. on February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke apart and was lost over Texas. This tragic event led, as the Challenger accident had 17 years earlier, to an intensive government investigation of the technological and  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publication date: 3/27/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836

Just after 9:00 a.m. on February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke apart and was lost over Texas. This tragic event led, as the Challenger accident had 17 years earlier, to an intensive government investigation of the technological and organizational causes of the accident. The investigation found chilling similarities between the two accidents, leading the Columbia Accident Investigation Board to conclude that NASA failed to learn from its earlier tragedy. Despite the frequency with which organizations are encouraged to adopt learning practices, organizational learning¿especially in public organizations¿is not well understood and deserves to be studied in more detail. This book fills that gap with a thorough examination of NASA¿s loss of the two shuttles. After offering an account of the processes that constitute organizational learning, Julianne G. Mahler focuses on what NASA did to address problems revealed by Challenger and its uneven efforts to institutionalize its own findings. She also suggests factors overlooked by both accident commissions and proposes broadly applicable hypotheses about learning in public organizations.

Illustrations
Preface
Recognizing the Value of Organizational Learning
Uncanny Similarities: The Challenger and Columbia Accidents
Identifying Organizational Learning
Analyzing the Causes of the Shuttle Accidents
Structures for Processing Information
Contractor Relations
Political and Budgetary Pressures
Organizational Culture
Institutionalizing Lessons about Public Organizational Learning
The Challenges of Learning in Public Organizations
Lessons from NASA about Organizational Learning
References
Index

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